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E-Mail Is Dead, Long Live RSS

Kevin Dugan
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-28

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OK, the subject of this post should read: "Proclaiming something to be dead is dead." But I figured this headline might raise more ire.

The gimmick of proclaiming the death of one industry, discipline, technique or technology due to the creation of another is just asking for it. When people claim public relations is dead, when they claim anything is dead for that matter, I laugh. It shows a complete oversimplification and misunderstanding of what we do so they can place their related field on a pedestal.

B.L. Ochman lists nine words not to use in a blog post. Might I add the above approach to the list? Heck, while we're at it, making absolute statements and defining blogosphere rules should join the ranking...even though I'm doing so above. You are just making yourself fodder for a rash of posts noting the error in your thinking.

With the above rant, er, observation in mind, I read this article by David Daniels. RSS' effect on e-mail marketing makes the point that e-mail marketing is not dead. OK, based on the penetration of RSS to date, that's accurate. Not to mention, each technology has pros and cons. It is really your goals, objectives and target audience that should drive your choice of one over another.

But Daniels makes himself the poster child for "you're wrong" follow-up posts with the following statement:

"RSS provides opportunity, particularly for newsletter publishers, but let's not kid ourselves. As it's repurposed for more direct marketing initiatives, it won't be a smooth, clutter-free ride. As e-mail marketers, we can relax. This technology won't seriously compete with our channel, so we can focus on what we need to: making e-mail marketing more relevant!"

Something tells me Fergus Burns is hoping the rest of David's colleagues listen to him and kick their heels up.

Me? I have a mix of e-mail newsletters and RSS feeds. But I could see getting rid of the majority of my e-mail newsletters if they offered RSS feeds of their content. Not all of them, but most of them.

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About the Author:
Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

Visit Kevin's blog: Strategic Public Relations.

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